Pet Dog: A 35,000 year history?

Scientists at Durham University are researching the history of the pet dog. They are examining DNA from the ancient remains of wolves and dogs.

View all 3 updates ›

Almost £1million is spent on researching dogs

Scientists at Durham University are using a £950,000 NERC grant to find out when and where dogs first became domesticated. They are examining bones of wolves and dogs.

The earliest conclusive evidence showed dogs have been pets for about 14,000 years, but theories now suggest it could have been for as long as 35,000 years.

"Just about everything associated with domestication is really about the beginnings of farming. Except dogs.

"Dogs were domesticated by hunter-gatherers at least 3,000-5,000 years before agriculture and possibly tens of thousands of years earlier."

– Professor Keith Dobney, Sixth Century Chair of Human Palaeoecology at the University of Aberdeen

The three year project starts in October.

More top news